Tagore second rate playwright: Karnad

Last Updated: Fri, Nov 09, 2012 15:36 hrs

Veteran playwright Girish Karnad has sparked a controversy by calling world bard Rabindranath Tagore a 'second rate playwright'.

"Tagore was a great poet but a second rate playwright," Karnad was quoted as saying by media on Friday.

"Rabindranath Tagore wrote medicore plays. We should learn to be practical in this matter," he said.

He further said Tagore´s plays are ´unbearable´.

Criticising Tagore, he said: "His plays didn´t have any depth."

Karnad´s comments against Nobel-winning author V S Naipaul had triggered a debate last week.

Defending his public tirade against Naipaul for his views on Muslims and Islam, Karnad said that he waited for the opportunity for 10 years.

"I heard him speak on television more than 10 years ago - in 2000 - and since then I have waited for an opportunity to say 'Sorry, you're wrong. You're absolutely wrong.", and I couldn't do it earlier since I was a government servant," he said, speaking to a private news channel.

"I regret neither having made the statement or having made it at the [literary] festival. It was the perfect place and the perfect answer," he told CNN-IBN, and ruled out any apology.

Explaining what prompted him to launch the attack, Karnad said "While I was in London ten years ago, I heard an interview on BBC. During that interview Naipaul went about Muslims, how the Muslims destroyed India, its culture and so on. No one was there to defend the Muslims."

Karnad's outburst against Naipaul came after the organisers of a literature festival in Mumbai felicitated Naipaul with a lifetime achievement award on Oct 31.

Karnad, who was supposed to talk in a sessions which focused on theatre and his life and work last week, however did not speak on the subject calling it ´boring´ and instead went on target the organisers for felicitating Naipaul earlier.

"What he says is predictable, which is that the Muslims destroyed Indian architecture that everything went to pot. They were the raiders, they were the destroyers, and you have to look at any building to see what happened during the Muslim regime," Karnad said.

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